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Antec High Current Pro: Under the Hood

Introduction

The High Current Pro power supply series is Antec’s latest top-of-the-line offering, though it is certainly not the first time we have released a superior power supply series. In 2008 we delivered the world’s first power supply with a DC-to-DC module: the Signature Series. The Signature Series is still one of the best performing power supplies in the market and works with superior voltage regulation still unrivaled from most of the competition.

What’s next?

Time to introduce the High Current Pro power supply series as our next contribution to the evolution of power supplies. To say it with the words of Mr. Jobs: THE next big thing that will change the market. Again.

Here are some key features, before we get some more insight about the “technical finesse” in my next post:

80 PLUS Gold certified to help you reduce costs on your electric bills. If you are running a high wattage power supply like the HCP-1200 for example, you want to make sure you don’t waste too much energy. The 80 PLUS® Gold certification shows that this power supply runs with at least 88% efficiency at lower loads, 90% with medium loads and again at least 88% under full load.
Up to eight High Current 12V rails with each protected by OCP with a trip point of just a little over 30A. This means all of your worries about graphics cards compatibility are obsolete and you can enjoy the benefits of a fully protected power supply as well.
Up to 99% rated output power available on 12V rails due to the DC-to-DC modules. In modern systems the +3.3V and +5V rails are virtually unused. Most of the lower voltages today are generated through VRMs on the motherboard itself due to very sensitive regulations needed for the memory, CPU or other components. Therefore, the load on those smaller voltage rails is decreasing steadily. With 99% output available on the 12V rails and zero minimum load necessary on each rail you are well off for today’s and future systems.
Full bridge topology with faster switching speed for superior load regulation needed especially for transient load. Full bridge topology comes from the server and workstation segment where it’s essential to have the best performance and zero failure rate. This superior topology delivers the best performance possible without coil whine, which is a typical “feature” on lesser high-end power supplies.
The most intelligent Hybrid Cable Management features a heavy-gauge 16 AWG High Current cable for high performance components like the CPU to reduce conducted resistance. A 10-pin connector system on the three lower wattage HCP-models allows you to connect either the matching 10-pin PCIE or CPU cable harnesses or the 5-pin peripheral connector harnesses. That makes this system truly the most intelligent Hybrid Cable Management.

Background and Market Positioning

The HCP series took us two years to plan and develop. From the very beginning we had only one goal for this series: be the top of the line, the very best power supply a user could have at his disposal. To reach this high target we had to go the extra mile that normal companies usually don’t take. First of all we had to determine what is good, what is the best of the best? What would people ask from such a product?

We came up with ten main features enthusiasts strive for:

  1. Voltage stability
  2. Transient load behavior
  3. High hold-up times
  4. Low Ripple/Noise
  5. High efficiency
  6. As silent as possible
  7. Good cooling
  8. Sufficient connectors even for mean setups
  9. Durability
  10. Build quality

These are ten points essential to every enthusiast and we wanted to bring the best performance possible to each of these categories.

To make this a reality, we needed the right platform to work with. This could only come from the server and workstation realm since only those power supplies are built for long term use with zero tolerance for failure and are able to run under heavy stress conditions with a smile.

We chose the full bridge phase shift topology for the High Current Pro HCP-1200 PSU and full bridge LLC for the three other models. All of the power supplies manage zero voltage switching (ZVS) instead of hard switching which is the normal way. Switching losses are common with switching mode power supplies (SMPS) which is the correct name for today’s power supplies and with ZVS we reduce losses to a minimum and therefore increase the working efficiency of the unit.

The HCP-850 internals

The HCP-850, loaded with Japanese Brand capacitors and an extra packed input filtering stage

The biggest advantage of full bridge topology is the fast response timing which is unrivaled when compared to any other topology in the market. With this topology we knew we went the right way since we now had the best performance possible, fast response times, fast transient switching, high hold-up timings, exceptionally low ripple/noise, high efficiency and durability. The production of this power supply takes place in the halls of the largest power supply manufacturer in the world and is mostly automated for highest precision and build quality.

Now we just had to design the rest of the power supply around this platform and we had our perfect contender.

The High Current Pro series is a “no-compromises product” and this is how our engineers approached this project. We put endless hours of testing into this platform to create what we have today. Even if we were ready for production and had first samples our team of engineers still wanted more performance from the units and revised design and parts accordingly. We only use the very best components available which gives these power supplies a significant step ahead of the competition.

Today, we finally brought these units to the market and we at Antec are proud of our engineering team for the result of their invested efforts. The High Current Pro series was designed for people who want the best possible power supplies on the market and results show that the finished product achieved every single feature we were shooting for.

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Comments (5)

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